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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  March 18, 2013 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

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had guns out, so i figured either an intruder or something. there were cops speeding in and out. >> reporter: first police rescued the caller and then found a student who had shot himself to death in his room. then made another disturbing discovery. >> while they were in the room, they did see a .45-caliber handgun and a .22-magnum caliber tactical rifle. the officers on scene determined that there was no immediate threat at that point because the subject was dead. >> reporter: but police say while processing the crime scene, they then found a backpack filled with four improvised explosive devices. they identified the student who killed himself as 30-year-old james oliver sebucumaran who was living in the dorm and said a broader attack may have been planned. >> this individual laid out a timeline and laid out some of what we feel were going to be his actions.
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what we are pretty confident of is that the fast response, along with some other situations, maybe made him change his mind at that point and he took his own life. >> reporter: police say sebucamaron pulled the fire alarm and believe he did so to get other students out of their rooms. the report shows the tactical rifle came from an l.a. gun shop. after the bomb squad cleared the scene, students were allowed back in the dorm and counselors are now being provided. now, police have not offered a motive for the attack plan. school officials say the student who shot himself was not registered for the current term and that they were involved in the process of moving him out of the dorm when this incident occurred. brian? >> as we say, it appears we came very close. mark potter starting us out from miami tonight. mark, thanks. weather is making news across parts of our country tonight. here we are 48 hours before the arrival of spring, officially. people have had it with winter. you can't blame them. however, more of it is on the
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move tonight. weather channel meteorologist eric fisher with us now at the big map. eric, good evening. >> good evening, brian. hello, everybody. a three-part storm we're tracking for you right now. we have one area of snow in the upper midwest, another one in the northeast. the most prominent and serious of storms. you can see them across georgia. baseball size hail. we have also heard of windshields that have been broken by that hail falling in and around atlanta. then we've got the snow. 35 million americans this evening under some sort of winter weather advisory watch or warning. 19 different states included in all of that. we're tracking snow moving out of the midwest. stooe scenes from there. we had lots of heavy snow blowing around in places like fargo, north dakota and rochester, minnesota. the low visibility that makes life extremely difficult. that area a little bit more on the move. the energy transfers to the coast tonight and into tomorrow.
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new york will see some snowflak snowflakes, then it changes over to rain. boston, you'll see about a half foot of snow, some of the higher elevations in the northeast about a foot. after all this, it is all cold. spring will have to wait a while. >> from weather channel headquarters which for a time was under a tornado warning today, eric fisher. eric, thanks. rain coming out of this same storm system could be helpful in tennessee tonight where a forest fire has burned through 230 acres of great smoky mountains national park. firefighters believe it started as a house fire around this time yesterday, and then 65 structures, including more than two dozen vacation cabins, were destroyed by this unusual late winter blaze. in south bend, indiana, federal investigators looking through the wreckage of a beechcrabeec beechcraft private jet crashed into a neighborhood on sunday. it killed two poeceople on boar
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including steven davis who led the oklahoma sooners to back-to-back championships in 1991. the latest european nation in need of a bailout, but this time european leaders decided to take a chunk of that bailout money directly out of the bank accounts of everyone in the country. it was a shocking move heard around the globe today, and the fear on the mediterranean island rippled through world financial markets today. our report on it tonight from cnbc's sue herrera. >> reporter: people rushed to cash machines in cyprus this weekend after word spread of the government's unprecedented plan to take money from personal bank accounts. >> it's disgusting. >> reporter: to beat the government to their savings, many waited on long lines before finding themselves empty handed when atms ran out of cash. >> i plan to go to the bank and withdrawal all the money i have in there. i can't trust them anymore.
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it's theft. >> reporter: to help pay for the $13 billion european bailout, the government plans to take up to 10% from all savings accounts. >> you can't just take out of people's savings, can you? >> let's keep our cash. get it on a bet or something. >> reporter: they say it's sign on and pay up or go belly up. >> we want something that lasts, something durable and that will be sustainable. >> reporter: ahead of tuesday's vote, the president of cyprus held a meeting as a way to soften the blow for residents. >> we fully support the decision of the president of cyprus and their efforts to bring financial stability to cyprus. >> reporter: still, residents say they're furious about paying for an economic crisis they didn't create. >> find the people responsible for this mess, prosecute them, put them in prison. >> reporter: european leaders say what's happening in the small island country could impact financial stability
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around the world. >> the real question now is, is this an isolated case or is this going to be something that's going to be seen across the whole eurozone? >> reporter: brian, that is, indeed, the question, because there is always the fear what happens overseas can spread to out ni the united states. we call it contagion. nobody is expecting anything of the sort, but it's early days and we'll keep an eye on the story. >> sue herera from cnbc. thank you. hours away from the pope's inaugural mass, and a number of them are remarking it's been years since the pope has been this tactile, this agile, this personable. he has already shown that in a way that probably sent quite a scare through his security detail this past weekend. nbc's ann thompson remains at the vatican for us tonight. ann, good evening. >> reporter: good evening,
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brian. you know, as many as 1 million people are expected to come to pope francis' inaugural mass tomorrow morning. the crowds are expected to be huge, in part because catholics have really taken to heart this humble and spontaneous man. as you said, it's been years since catholics have seen a pope work a crowd the way he did after sunday mass. it certainly gave his security detail headaches as he went into the crowd and shook hands and kissed little kids and blessed them. but it's these spur of the moment decisions that makes tomorrow's event a must-see event in rome. today pope francis met with the head of state, an old foe, argentinian president cristina kirchner. she brought him gifts and a request that he intercede in great britain over the falkland islands. the pope opposed many social programs that kirch nerks r
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endorsed. she, in turn, said he had beliefs that were medieval, harking back to the inquisition. today there were no such signs of any harsh words. brian? >> ann back at the vatican where she'll continue to cover for us. ann, thanks, and we want you to know special coverage of the pope's installation will be on the air tomorrow morning on "today." matt lauer heading up "today" show coverage at the vatican. hillary clinton made an announcement today that's getting a lot of attention tonight, though it wasn't totally unexpected. she now says she supports same-sex marriage. this comes just days after a prominent republican senator made the very same announcement, surprising his own party. our report on all of it tonight from nbc's kristin welker in washington. >> reporter: the former secretary of state declared her support of same-sex marriage on the website of a gay advocacy group. ztz i support it personally and as a matter of policy and law. >> reporter: it is a view that has evolved.
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here's her answer to a question from tim russer in 2004. >> i do not support gay marriage but i support civil unions. >> reporter: a stance she maintained during her 2008 presidential campaign. but while taking political stands on domestic issues, she made favorable attention from gay rights groups by expanding benefits for state workers working at the state department. and today asserted -- >> gay rights are human rights. a few years ago, bill and i celebrated as our own daughter married the love of her life, and i wish every parent that same joy. >> reporter: mrs. clinton's announcement comes a week before the supreme court is set to consider a challenge to the defense of marriage act, the federal law that defines marriage between a woman and a man. and it comes ten days after her husband urged the court to overturn the law, which he signed in 1996. the arc of mrs. clinton's changed opinion reflects a turnaround of public sentiment. in 2004, only 30% of americans supported same-sex marriage. by december of last year, the
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same nbc news wall street journal poll showed a majority in favor. >> the world has just transformed itself on this issue, including the political world. >> reporter: on friday, republican senator rob portman came out in favor of same-sex marriage. >> i now believe people ought to have the right to get married. >> reporter: a position most of his party oppose, but this morning after a report declared the party need to do broaden its appeal, the party launched a $10 million vopledge to reach its votes. president obama has also changed his position, announcing his support of same-sex marriage last year and a new poll just today shows 58% of americans agree. brian? >> kristin welker at the white house for us tonight. kristin, thanks. still ahead for us on a monday evening, a major break in one of this nation's largest unsolved mysteries. an unusual appeal from the fbi tonight and a $5 million reward
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up for grabs. and later, a beautiful sight making a difference for a lot of kids. it was 23 years ago tonight
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one of the most daring, certainly the largest art heist ever happened in the isabella gardner museum in boston. tonight the fbi is making an unusual public appeal to get some of the stolen masterpieces back, and there is a $5 million reward up for grabs. our report from nbc's pete
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williams. >> reporter: it remains one of america's major unsolved mysteries. who broke into boston's gardner art museum march 19, 1990 and slashed 19 pieces of art out of their frames, the world's biggest art heist and property theft ever. three rembrandts and work by monet taken by two men disguised as policemen, who bluffed their way in and handcuffed the two guards on duty. just last year digging up the yard of a reputed mobster, this surprising announcement. the fbi knows who did it and just want the paintings back. >> we believe those responsible for the theft were members of a criminal organization with a base in the mid-atlantic states and new england. >> reporter: the fbi says there is a trail leading to connecticut and pennsylvania. >> we determined that approximately a decade ago, some of the art was brought to philadelphia where it was offered for sale.
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however, we do not know where the art is currently located. >> reporter: the fbi will not name names of who did it, and the statute of limitations long ago lapsed for prosecuting them for theft. the government could still bring charges against whoever has the works now but says it's more important to recover the art. >> not only the reward but also the potential of immunity for anyone connected to the thefts or the concealment of those paintings throughout the year. >> reporter: the author of a best-selling book about the heist calls this promising. >> a lot of people have speculated over the years that maybe the paintings were destroyed, so i think we can find some hope here that these paintings still exist and that they will soon be returned to the isabella gardner museum. >> reporter: the fbi is hoping someone has seen one of these paintings on a wall or above a map mantel and is ready to claim a $5 million reward. we're back for a change in some fast food menus and a big
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loss in the music world tonight. there's this island -- and it's got super-cute kangaroos.
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barrow island has got rare kangaroos. ♪ chevron has been developing energy here for decades. we need to protect their environment. we have a strict quarantine system to protect the integrity of the environment. forty years on, it's still a class-a nature reserve. it's our job to look after them.'s my job to look after it. ♪
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bobby smith's voice came right through loud and clear on many of the great songs by the spinners. he was a tenor. he could be heard on "could it be i'm falling in love" and "i'll be around" and "games people play." he earned the group almost a dozen gold records, half a dozen grammys. he was 76 years old. new york mayor bloomberg is at it again as part of his health campaign. today he proposed stores that sell cigarettes, hide them from view just like dirty magazines. people of age can still ask for cigarettes and buy them at $10 a pack. the mayor just wants to make them less visible. he banned smoking in restaurants and sbarz -- bars during his
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first term, and he gave hundreds of millions of dollars to anti-smoking efforts. he's already gone after trans fats in restaurants, styrofoam containers, and now rather famously, he's tried to limit large soft drinks which you saw sarah palin mock this weekend by bringing a big gulp to the podium at the conservative conference in washington. a related sign of our times in the fast food business, burger king is offering a turkey burger for the first time. and along with mcdonald's recent decision to offer a low-calorie mcmuffin with only egg whites, this qualifies as a trend now as fast food gets incrementally healthier. the burger king offering is on its seasonal menu for spring, but it will stay if it's popular. here's a sign of at least some post-hurricane sandy progress. the first stage of the new boardwalk, seaside heights, new jersey. those aerial pictures of the damage after the storm, including the roller coaster out in the surf, were just devastating for all of us who
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had ever enjoyed a summer at the jersey shore. but the summer tourism economy is such a big deal for shore towns, seaside has vowed to be up and open for business on the boardwalk this coming summer. we are back with our monday making a difference report after this. an extraordinary group on the go setting its sights on helping a lot of kids.
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finally tonight here we have an uplifting making a difference report. tonight from los angeles where things are now looking a lot better for a lot of kids. that's because of the efforts of some caring folks helping kids whose families can't afford the eyeglasses they need, giving them a chance to see and learn and thrive. our making a difference report tonight from nbc's miguel almaguer. >> reporter: for these kids, this bus is a sight for sore eyes. >> this is going to be exciting. >> who gets to go first? >> reporter: an eye clinic on wheels built by vision to learn that provides free eye exams and glasses to students in low-income communities. >> perfect. don't move.
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>> reporter: fifth grader dina ventura hasn't seen clearly since kindergarten. dina is one of 34 students getting tested at her school. statistics show up to 15% of all children in elementary school need glasses. educators say 80% of learning depends on a child's ability to see a blackboard or read a book, an impossible burden for 40,000 children here in los angeles who have problems with their vision. >> a lot of times they'll just zone out in the class because they can't see what's going on or they don't fully understand what's being taught. >> good afternoon, express lens up. >> reporter: for vision to learn, the solution is clear. after testing the students, the children's prescriptions are sent here. employees measure, polish and grind out every set of custom lenses. each pair of glasses costs about $100 to make. but for the students, they're free. >> every child should have the tools they need to be successful. and including those tools are glasses.
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>> reporter: austin butner, a successful investor, founded vision to learn. >> we're taking kids in the school and giving them vision, giving them a chance to learn. >> reporter: one by one, frame by frame, the room comes into focus. >> how excited are you? >> really, really excited. >> reporter: an excitement that resonates with butner every time he giftz the gift of sight. >> their eyes glow, they sparkle and they're seeing a different world around them. >> reporter: a world of new possibilities and a clearer future ahead for these children. miguel almaguer, nbc news, los angeles. >> great story to end on on this monday night as we start a new week. thank you for being here with us. i'm brian williams. we, of course, hope to see you right back here tomorrow evening. good night.
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the racecar crash where the young driver slammed into his own cousin. south bay parents finding how much the children may suffer as the district tries to deal with the huge budget short fall. >> it is a slam dunk for san jose. what the ncaa tournament means for the economy of the south bay. nbc bay area news starts now. good evening and thank you for joining us.
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i'm jessica aguirre. >> and i'm raj mathai. it is a sport that brought families together for generations but tonight that sport has left the family and two bay area communities in mourning. a well known north bay racer ran off the track this weekend hitting and killing two people. it happened on saturday. the petaluma boy, the victims his 14-year-old cousin and the 68-year-old owner of the racecar. she spoke with members of the family just trying to come to grips with this tragedy. >> reporter: i had a chance to talk to the boy's grandfather today. it was just last october when this family was celebrating at the petaluma speedway when chase won a championship title. tonight chase's racing has left that family in mourning. >> they call me on the phone that afternoon and said something terrible happened.
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marcus is dead. >> reporter: bob johnson describes how he learned that his 14-year-old grand son was dead. the sprint car driven by his 17-year-old cousin, chase johnson, spun out of control. >> marcus got killed by chase. it is unbelievable. >> reporter: what is especially tough, that marcus got killed by a sport that has defined his family for four generations. his great grandfather started racing in the 50s and every grand son inherited the same passion. young marcus spent nearly all of his free time around cars. he looked up to his older cousin, chase, who was making his mark in the racing world with 140 wins under his


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